Saturday, June 25, 2011

Prescription Psychedelics

The idea itself goes a way back in psychedelic history when LSD was used by Dr Humphry Osmond to treat alcoholism. And alcoholism is a symptom of PTSD. Sometimes. Sometimes it is a symptom of something else. In any case the treatment of PTSD with psychedelics is gaining ground.

Let's say an abuse-ridden childhood has left you with PTSD that sparks panic whenever you hear shouts, even on TV. Or let's say a bad accident has saddled you with crippling anxiety and chronic pain. Now let's say that you could ease -- or even cure -- these woes with prescription psiloscybin.

Prescription ecstasy. Prescription LSD.

If a growing phalanx of scientists get their way, those prescriptions could be yours within 10 years. Research into the medical benefits of psychedelic drugs is booming. An April conference on the subject at Great Britain's University of Kent featured lectures on such topics as "Ketamine Psychotherapy" and "Ayahuasca in the Contemporary World."

Leading this wave is the Boston-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), whose executive director Rick Doblin spoke at that conference. MAPS researchers have spent 15 years conducting international clinical trials whose results indicate that LSD and psilocybin counteract depression and anxiety and are effective pain-management tools while MDMA (ecstasy) conquers fear. Just this month, the Israeli Ministry of Health approved a new MAPS study using MDMA to treat PTSD.
It just frosts me that the War On Drugs has stymied this research for at least 3 decades. I think of all the Veterans this could have helped. Not to mention victims of child abuse.

When the Drug War goes down it is going to take a LOT of smug *holes down with it. You know, the "save the children and f* the adults crowd". If only they went after child abuse with the same vigor they went after drugs we wouldn't need a Drug War. Of course I would council that the Government stay out of it all and let the people solve their own problems. But that would make me a radical. A George Washington or perhaps Thomas Jefferson type. Of course George had to deal with a Whiskey Rebellion. So maybe government interference with the use of mind altering drugs is not exactly new. Although the government of that time was smart enough to avoid banning alcohol altogether. That effort was saved for a later band of geniuses who appear to be informing the current band of geniuses on the usefulness of Drug Prohibition.

More Israeli research into PTSD: PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

Will said...

" MAPS researchers have spent 15 years conducting international clinical trials whose results indicate that LSD and psilocybin counteract depression and anxiety."

While I am against the war on drugs, and favor complete legalization of drugs, not just marijuana, taking LSD to combat anxiety just doesn't make sense, at least for me. I enjoyed LSD quite a few times during my youth, but it was that last trip time that made it, my last time. But being pragmatic in my personal views, if it works, good luck. Buyer beware!